It’s been yet another week of progress across Orlando, as our industry takes further steps toward rebuilding America’s favorite destination in a safe, measured way. I’m especially encouraged by yesterday's reopening of SeaWorld, Aquatica, and Discovery Cove.
I’m also looking forward to the reopening of our Orange County Convention Center, which has rolled out extraordinary health precautions, as it welcomes back large-scale events with the return of the Amateur Athletic Union’s national volleyball tournament July 14-22. To date, more than 400 teams and 10,500 attendees are registered. I’d like to extend a special thank you to AAU President & CEO Dr. Roger Goudy, who also is a member of our Visit Orlando board, for his strong support of our community.
Speaking of sports, I know we would all agree that it is exciting how Orlando will be the center of attention when the NBA and MLS resume play this summer. The return of professional sports to Orlando is incredible testament to the trust these organizations place in the safety and capabilities of our destination. I had the pleasure to share the importance of this with the Miami Herald recently in an interview.
I also want to take a moment to recognize today’s importance in the history of our community, as it is the four-year remembrance of the Pulse tragedy. Please join the onePULSE Foundation online via Facebook or YouTube tonight at 7 p.m. for a Remembrance Ceremony. It will be a meaningful commemoration to honor those we lost, their families, survivors and first responders.
Hurricane Season: Hurricane season is officially here, and Visit Orlando is ready to serve our industry and community during any potential storm. When Florida’s coastal areas require evacuation, we work closely with the Orange County Office of Emergency Management and area hotels to gather guestroom inventory. To update your company’s emergency contact, email our member relations team; for additional resources, please access the county’s Hurricane Safety Guide.
State of the County: Please mark your calendar for Orange County’s “State of the County,” hosted by Mayor Jerry L. Demings, June 26 at 9 a.m. Click here for more information on this can’t-miss event.
Pride Month: In recognition of June being Pride Month, we’ve assembled a list of virtual events honoring the area’s LGBTQ+ community. Read more in our blog.
Consumer Insights Webinar: Join us Wednesday, June 17, at 10 a.m. as representatives from Google discuss emerging industry trends and consumer insights that are helping leading brands adapt their marketing on a path to recovery. Register here.
Links to archived webinars are below:
- Global Exhibitions and Events Industry Update
Mark Tester, executive director, Orange County Convention Center; David DuBois, president & CEO, International Association of Exhibitions and Events; Dr. Gavin Macgregor-Skinner, director, Global Biorisk Advisory Council
- Travel Advisors: Key Partners for Recovery
Brian Hegarty, vice president marketing, Travel Leaders Group
- How Event Planners Are Managing Through the COVID-19 Crisis
David Blansfield, executive vice president, Northstar Meetings Group; Lauren Edelstein, vice president and content director, Northstar Meetings Group
- COVID-19 Economic Update with Anirban Basu
Anirban Basu, chairman & CEO, Sage Policy Group
- Travel Marketing in Uncertain Times: Taking on COVID-19
Alex Luong, account manager, Facebook
- Resilience & Recovery in Unprecedented Times
Sherrif Karamat, president & CEO, PCMA
- Managing through the COVID-19 Crisis, Creating Your Road to Recovery
John Hach, senior industry analyst, TravelClick
- Understanding the Mindset of the (Post) Crisis Consumer
Martin Stoll, CEO, Sparkloft Media
- COVID-19's Impact on Orlando’s Travel Industry
Daryl Cronk, senior director of market research, Visit Orlando
Research & Insights
U.S. Employment: U.S. employment rose by 2.5 million in May, and the unemployment rate declined to 13.3%. Employment rose sharply in leisure and hospitality, construction, education and health services, and retail trade. By contrast, employment in government continued to decline sharply. One possibility for the increase is that many companies brought back employees they let go in April, in order to qualify for the Payroll Protection Plan forgiveness.
Travel Spending: Travel spending in the U.S. for the week ending May 30 expanded for the fifth consecutive week, hitting $4.3 billion, up from the low of $2.3 billion the week ending April 25. Travel spending in Florida was $398 million, a drop of 81% from the same period last year but an increase of $54 million from the previous week. Read more.
Convention Travel: Four in 10 convention/conference travelers say they would be happy to attend a convention in the fall if they were asked to, but more than a third said they would be unhappy being asked to attend (35.3%). Read more.
Stay safe, everyone,
President & CEO